The Modi-led BJP government initiated the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) to provide functional piped safe drinking water to every household by 2024, with the ambitious “Har Ghar Nal Se Jal (water in every home)”.
The Jal Shakti Ministry, led by Gajendra Shekhawat, opens the door to all stakeholders (manufacturers, technology providers, entrepreneurs, executing agencies, skilled workers, NGOs) to work in the village under the scheme.
According to official data, local people (masons, plumbers, electricians, fitters and pump operators) are needed to maintain, ensure the water supply, greywater treatment, and reuse for the next 3 years.
A report issued by the Ministry of Jal Shakti in June 2021 amid the raging pandemic stated that approximately 17,05,799 households were equipped with functional household tap water connections.
Furthermore, according to official data, functional tap water supply increased from 26.39 lakh (7.7%) to 109.67 lakh (31.91%) in 117 aspirational districts, out of 342.46 lakh rural households, changing the lives of women who travel long distances to fetch drinking water.
Similarly, out of 310.48 lakh rural households, tap water connection increased from 8.02 lakh (2.5%) to 105.33 lakh (33.92%) in 61 JE-AES (Japanese Encephalitis-Acute Encephalitis Syndrome) affected districts spread across five States.
Since the launch of the Jal Jeevan Mission in 2019, the switch rate has risen from 7% to 31% in 22 months.
Since India is dealing with COVID-19, the Union Budget 2021–22 prioritizes health, hygiene and safe drinking water. This year the budgetary allocation of Jal Jeevan Mission has increased significantly to ₹50,011 crores. However, in 2020–21, an amount of ₹11, 500 crores was provided. In addition to it, ₹26,940 crores will also be available to PRIs for water and sanitation services under the 15th Finance Commission.
As per the Jal Jeevan Samvaad (JJS), February 2021 report, under the mission, many women across Rural India have been taught to operate pump water. “I wish to learn more and train other women of my society,” says Rekha, a tribal woman working as a pump operator in Kathar Village, torchbearers of the tribal women.
Another story from rural Madhya Pradesh of Reshmai working as a pump operator shows women are blurring the gender inequality by backing the men of the household.
India has a total of 19,17,20,832 rural households. As per the dashboard “Har Ghar Jal”, data reveals that since the day launch of the scheme on 15 August, 2019, 16.88% of tap water supply to rural households. However, it has increased by 35.95% to provide safe tap water supply to rural households.
Goa and Telangana have 100% FHTC and other states like Bihar (86.96%), Haryana (99.24%), Gujarat (70.13%). The bottom five states were Assam (16.69%), Jharkhand (13.98%), Chhattisgarh (13.11%), UP (12.29%), and West Bengal (11.13%). The Union Territories, Puducherry, Andaman and the Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, achieved 100% functional tap water.
However, Ladakh has only 12.54% rural household tap water supply.
On World Water Day (22 March), Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the “Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain” water conservation campaign. “No one understands the value of water better than women,” PM Modi said. Giving onus to women to initiate their roles as leaders in Jal Jeevan missions, he added, “If water conservation is handed over to women, they will ensure unimaginable positive results.”
As per India Today’s report, about 63% of India’s rural population (women) stride out of their houses, standing in a queue, going miles to fetch a pot of water to meet their daily needs.
Consequently, the latest report of UN (Sustainable Development Goal) SDGs 2021 shows that globally, people still lack safe drinking water and hygiene. During COVID-19, it was anchored to meet the service and to combat the pandemic.